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June 02, 2009
by Ryan Hudson
Adam Dunn is an outfielder for the Washington Nationals (amazingly, most of his starts have come in left field; if you haven't watched Dunn play left yet, you're really cheating yourself out of a good laugh). He's basically good at one thing: hitting home runs. And so far this year, he's been great at that, hitting 16 tater tots in the Nats first 50 games. He's also 4th in the NL with 42 RBI and 9th in both SLG% and OPS. Remind me why so many teams passed on this guy, practically forcing the Nats to sign him to a two-year, $20 million deal? But I suppose that's a post for another time.
Anyways, Dunn is quickly entering some uncharted territory: his home run total is currently greater than his team's number of wins (13). According to SABR (*ahem* via Richard Justice's Twitter), "...[N]o player has ever finished a season with more HRs than his team had wins."
Right now, Dunn is on pace for about 51 homers this year (which is great, especially since he's hit exactly 40 every year for the past five seasons). The Nationals, with an MLB-worst 13-36 record, are on pace for about 43 wins.
The Nats division, the NL East, has three of the top nine teams in the NL, and with two of those clubs (Mets and Phillies) playing for the postseason, it isn't going to get any easier. And as Washington continues to lose, they will begin to call up more and more kids from the minors, hoping to complete the transformation into the first Triple A team to actually play Major League Baseball games. During all of this, the Big Donkey will continue to mash baseballs, because that's all he knows.
So, that's basically what DC baseball has become this summer: a race between their slugger's home runs and the team's losses. Nationals baseball -- catch the excitement!
Adam Dunn - Baseball-Reference.com
richardjustice - Twitter